A lean, knockabout bloke with a cheeky smile and a warm handshake, father of four “Tiger” Flohr reckoned he had no reason to believe he was, as he puts it – “crook”
He soldiered on with a nagging discomfort in his chest because, he says, “in a bush life, knocks and bumps are just normal”.
But in the yard one day at his family home at Capella, that discomfort “hit me and sat me down”.
As so often happens, it was his wife, Valda, who made the move to “check things out”. Valda thought her man might have been describing a hernia pain, so she arranged for “Tiger” to see their family doctor in the Central Highlands town of Clermont.
“I asked the doctor to check on things and I suggested that we should check on his ticker, too,” says Valda.
Their doctor referred “Tiger” to the Heart of Australia program on its next scheduled visit to the rural industry and mining centre of Emerald.
Heart of Australia founder, Dr Rolf Gomes, was the cardiologist-on-duty when “Tiger” kept his appointment on the travelling clinic in Emerald.
In her no-nonsense style, Valda says: “Tiger didn’t do real good on the stress machine”.
Dr. Gomes remembers it this way – “The results of Tiger’s onboard cardiac stress test were grossly abnormal. He was literally a walking timebomb”.
That was on a Friday and Dr Gomes told the Flohrs that he wanted “Tiger” admitted to hospital in Brisbane the following Sunday – for urgent treatment.
It turned out that “Tiger” was literally on the edge of disaster with obstructions – one of 90% and one of more than 70% – in two of his cardiac arteries.
On the Monday in a one-and-a-half-hour procedure, “Tiger” had two surgical stents implanted – and the next day, he was cleared to head home.
He had just one week off work and now, he and Valda are well and truly back into the swing of things, with family and friends and their hobby farm – looking forward to lots more time together after reaching a 51-year milestone as life partners.
Of Heart of Australia, they say: “Don’t miss it. It’s a terrific truck and a terrific service”.
When pressed about a message to others from his experience, “Tiger” says simply: “If something’s nagging at you in a health sense – don’t leave it too late to get help”